Tailenders find flourish to thwart Warwickshire

Warwickshire 460 & 94-3 Worcestershire 416

The focus may have been on Warwickshire for the first two days of this Midlands derby, but yesterday it finally switched to Worcestershire.

Although Warwickshire did manage to claw back some lost ground with an opening stand between Nick Knight and Mark Wagh, which piled 66 runs on to the first-innings advantage of 44 that had accrued, it was Worcestershire's day, as they proved in the last half-hour or so, when they struck some telling blows.

First Knight skied an attempted slog-sweep to Graeme Hick, who just had to jog back from slip for the catch. Then, with four overs left, the same bowler, the Zimbabwean Ray Price, bowled Wagh, who yesterday signed a four-year contract extension.

An over later, Hick's occasional off-spin drew Naqaash Tahir into an imprudent drive and the nightwatchman was bowled, so that by the close Warwickshire were 138 runs ahead, but three wickets down, to set up an intriguing climax which could yet see Worcestershire, who are in a parlous state in the Championship with the Second Division a yawning reality, conjure up an unlikely but welcome victory.

Given the way their lower order performed as they went past the follow-on figure, and on to maximum batting points - an unthinkable feat after the start they had made in the morning, when they had resumed 299 runs behind with seven wickets left - they might just succeed.

The early disappointment of losing first Kadeer Ali and then, more tellingly, Hick, when the latter was within sight of yet another hundred, augured ill for the rest of the innings. But the heroes were queuing up further down the order, with useful offerings from the belligerent Andrew Hall and Price as well as a selfless, unbeaten innings by the veteran wicketkeeper and acting captain, Steve Rhodes.

To cap it all, a thrilling career-best innings by Matt Mason was studded with three sixes - two off Jim Troughton's left-arm spin and one off the heroic Dougie Brown - and nine hammered fours and it helped the county to maximum batting points for only the fifth time this season, which perhaps helps to explain their predicament.

For Warwickshire there was consolation in collecting maximum bowling points. Brown is their first bowler to claim 30 wickets this season, after picking up his first five-wicket haul of the summer. Heath Streak, who claimed four wickets, is the only other Warwickshire bowler to have taken five in an innings, twice in his debut match against Northamptonshire back in June.

election 2015The 10 best quotes of the campaign
A caravan being used as a polling station in Ford near Salisbury, during the 2010 election
election 2015The Independent's guide to get you through polling day
David Blunkett joins the Labour candidate for Redcar Anna Turley on a campaigning visit last month
voicesWhat I learnt from my years in government, by the former Home Secretary David Blunkett
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

General Election 2015: ‘We will not sit down with Nicola Sturgeon’, says Ed Balls

'We will not sit down with Nicola Sturgeon'

In an exclusive interview, Ed Balls says he won't negotiate his first Budget with SNP MPs - even if Labour need their votes to secure its passage
VE Day 70th anniversary: How ordinary Britons celebrated the end of war in Europe

How ordinary Britons celebrated VE Day

Our perception of VE Day usually involves crowds of giddy Britons casting off the shackles of war with gay abandon. The truth was more nuanced
They came in with William Caxton's printing press, but typefaces still matter in the digital age

Typefaces still matter in the digital age

A new typeface once took years to create, now thousands are available at the click of a drop-down menu. So why do most of us still rely on the old classics, asks Meg Carter?
Discovery of 'missing link' between the two main life-forms on Earth could explain evolution of animals, say scientists

'Missing link' between Earth's two life-forms found

New microbial species tells us something about our dark past, say scientists
The Pan Am Experience is a 'flight' back to the 1970s that never takes off - at least, not literally

Pan Am Experience: A 'flight' back to the 70s

Tim Walker checks in and checks out a four-hour journey with a difference
Humans aren't alone in indulging in politics - it's everywhere in the animal world

Humans aren't alone in indulging in politics

Voting, mutual back-scratching, coups and charismatic leaders - it's everywhere in the animal world
Crisp sales are in decline - but this tasty trivia might tempt back the turncoats

Crisp sales are in decline

As a nation we're filling up on popcorn and pitta chips and forsaking their potato-based predecessors
Ronald McDonald the muse? Why Banksy, Ron English and Keith Coventry are lovin' Maccy D's

Ronald McDonald the muse

A new wave of artists is taking inspiration from the fast food chain
13 best picnic blankets

13 best picnic blankets

Dine al fresco without the grass stains and damp bottoms with something from our pick of picnic rugs
Barcelona 3 Bayern Munich 0 player ratings: Lionel Messi scores twice - but does he score highest in our ratings?

Barcelona vs Bayern Munich player ratings

Lionel Messi scores twice - but does he score highest in our ratings?
Martin Guptill: Explosive New Zealand batsman who sets the range for Kiwis' big guns

Explosive batsman who sets the range for Kiwis' big guns

Martin Guptill has smashed early runs for Derbyshire and tells Richard Edwards to expect more from the 'freakish' Brendon McCullum and his buoyant team during their tour of England
General Election 2015: Ed Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

He was meant to be Labour's biggest handicap - but has become almost an asset
General Election 2015: A guide to the smaller parties, from the the National Health Action Party to the Church of the Militant Elvis Party

On the margins

From Militant Elvis to Women's Equality: a guide to the underdogs standing in the election
Amr Darrag: Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister in exile still believes Egypt's military regime can be replaced with 'moderate' Islamic rule

'This is the battle of young Egypt for the future of our country'

Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister Amr Darrag still believes the opposition can rid Egypt of its military regime and replace it with 'moderate' Islamic rule, he tells Robert Fisk
Why patients must rely less on doctors: Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'

Why patients must rely less on doctors

Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'